Michael Paradinas (born 1971) records primarily under the name µ-Ziq (pronounced “music”) in addition to a large number of aliases. He runs the british electronic label Planet Mu and first emerged on Rephlex in 1993 with the album ‘Tango N’Vectif’ and has collaborated with Aphex Twin and Speedy J among others. Mike Paradinas has become one of the very few artists working with electronics to produce a recognisable and personalised sound while at the same time mixing far-reaching experimentalism with accessibility through infectious melodies and rhythms. Achieving healthy record sales and staying true to the pioneering spirit of the underground is no mean feat.
In March 1995, Mike signed to Virgin and released the ‘Salsa With Mesquite’ ep and the album ‘In Pine Effect’ (“the difference is that where the Aphex Twin’s topographical doodles suggest undiscovered, unpeopled planets, µ-ZIq’s approach is a good deal more emotional, attempting to tap into the inner, surfing the soul… This is ‘techno’ elevated above the mere functionalism of the dancefloor, lighting fires in the heart and painting pictures for the mind’s eye.” – Melody Maker). This year also saw the genesis of ‘Jake Slazenger’, one of Mike’s numerous pseudonyms with the acclaimed future-past casio jazz-funk of the ‘Makesaracket’ album on Clear. 1996 saw Paradinas join forces with Richard James for Aphex’s one and only collaboration album ‘Mike and Rich‘ on Rephlex; it was also the year that Mike signed to Warp for his second Jake Slazenger album and indie chart number 1: ‘Das Ist Ein Groovy Beat, Ja’.
20 years ago Mike launched his own independent record label ‘Planet Mu’ releasing material by Venetian Snares, Remarc, Vex’d, Machinedrum, Kuedo & Jlin amongst many many others, including some of his own projects ‘Kid Spatula’ & the ‘Slag Boom Van Loon’ collaborations with Jochem Paap (aka Speedy J). Now over 350 releases old, Planet Mu has become one of the mainstays of the electronic music scene along with Ninjatune and Warp records, gaining more respect with every year that passes.